I Can't get an honest or helpful answer off UC

RealGem
RealGem Posts: 569
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edited 7 December 2023 at 6:26PM in Benefits & tax credits
Hi, because I now live in "Supported Accommodation" (with a private Housing Association) I don't qualify for the Rent portion of UC, but for Housing Benefit which is the same rate. 

But UC are now insisting I have been overpaid by over £500. And I honestly have not!

(First they thought Supported Accommodation was Temporary Accommodation. It is NOT!)


The only overlapped payment was for ONE week which was £120. 

I have screenshots and photos of everything... every UC correspondence, every letter from Housing Benefit, and all HB payments inside my bank account. I can PROVE the most I owe is £120. 

But UC refuse to give me any way of sending them these screenshots. And they refuse to send me proof that I have been overpaid. 

They just keep repeating the same information which is that I have to pay back any overpayments. I KNOW THAT! ...And I would be happy to, but I keep getting obtuse answers, which are basically calling me thick, by saying the previous messages are clear!

Anyone know how to tackle this please?

I feel very frustrated that I can't provide them with the screenshots via email as they prove I cannot possibly have been overpaid by that much. 

Thank you

Look at it this way... In a hundred years who's gonna care?
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Comments

  • Has it been ruled my a Decision Maker that the £500 in correct?
    Let's Be Careful Out There
  • RealGem
    RealGem Posts: 569
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    edited 7 December 2023 at 7:15PM
    Has it been ruled my a Decision Maker that the £500 in correct?
    No it hasn't got that far!

    I can't even get them to respond to me with any sense ...Let alone get hold of a "Decision Maker". 

    I have been leavng messages in my UC Journal. 

    Thanks



    Look at it this way... In a hundred years who's gonna care?
  • HillStreetBlues
    HillStreetBlues Posts: 3,068
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    edited 7 December 2023 at 7:26PM
    I would leave a message on your Journal stating you disagree and you want to refer it to a DM for a mandatory reconsideration.
    If they refuse/ take no notice, then make a complaint. https://makeacomplaint.dwp.gov.uk/



    Let's Be Careful Out There
  • Alice_Holt
    Alice_Holt Posts: 5,848
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    And I'd also do a written MR.
    Include copies of the screenprints, etc as evidence

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/challenge-a-decision-made-by-the-department-for-work-and-pensions-dwp

    Put in your journal that you wish the DM to look at the evidence on the MR form before their decision.
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  • tacpot12
    tacpot12 Posts: 7,839
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    Given you are in supported accommodation, is there someone who could talk to the DWP with you? You should be very careful about paying any money to any bank account that hasn't been verified as actually belonging to the DWP.  
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always try to check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • RealGem
    RealGem Posts: 569
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    I would leave a message on your Journal stating you disagree and you want to refer it to a DM for a mandatory reconsideration.
    If they refuse/ take no notice, then make a complaint. https://makeacomplaint.dwp.gov.uk/




    Thank you so much. I have asked them to refer it. Fingers crossed. 

    And I'd also do a written MR.
    Include copies of the screenprints, etc as evidence

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/challenge-a-decision-made-by-the-department-for-work-and-pensions-dwp

    Put in your journal that you wish the DM to look at the evidence on the MR form before their decision.

    Thank you for that form. I will do that tomorrow. 


    tacpot12 said:
    Given you are in supported accommodation, is there someone who could talk to the DWP with you? You should be very careful about paying any money to any bank account that hasn't been verified as actually belonging to the DWP.  

    Thank you, they sent me a PDF with the original decision about the Overpayment. On there it had the DWP sort code and account number. But they also said they would take the money in installments out of my monthly income. If I WAS overpaid that much(I wasn't!), I would prefer them to take it all in one go, but if they take it in dribs and drabs, then at least it should be going to the right place. 

    Yes I do have someone at the HA who helps with Money Matters, but I couldn't get hold of her today. 


    Thanks everyone for your very helpful replies. 







    Look at it this way... In a hundred years who's gonna care?
  • huckster
    huckster Posts: 4,774
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    UC cannot be overpaid by one week, as it is a monthly benefit amount.

    Sounds like UC included a months housing, before it was realised that the housing should not be paid under UC, as it was supported housing and therefore would come under Council Housing Benefits.
    The comments I post are personal opinion. Always refer to official information sources before relying on internet forums. If you have a problem with any organisation, enter into their official complaints process at the earliest opportunity, as sometimes complaints have to be started within a certain time frame.
  • Yamor
    Yamor Posts: 312
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    Sounds like you moved into the supported accommodation one week before the end of your assessment period, leading you to think that you only had one week off overlap.

    Unfortunately, that is not how UC works and they would be correct in asking for the whole month's housing element to be repaid. This is because they look at your circumstances at the end of the assessment period, and use that for the whole month.

    In this situation, the way the government intend you to get support for the 'missing' 3 weeks of housing support is through a Discretionary Housing Payment from your local council.

    See paras. 7.26-7.28 here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/65/pdfs/uksiem_20180065_en_001.pdf
  • Newcad
    Newcad Posts: 788
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    edited 8 December 2023 at 12:26PM
    If you move into accomodation part way through your UC period then UC will pay full Housing Element for the rent back the begining of that period.
    UC works on full months not on weeks, and so if you start to pay a rent part way through your UC period then you can 'win' a few weeks rent - for up to 3 weeks before you actually started paying rent.
    So say you only moved in the last week of your UC period, and had £120 rent to pay for that week, UC would still give you a full months Housing element for that UC period.
    £120 x52/12 = £520 Housing Element that you would have been paid. (Just after you moved in).
    Check your UC statement for that month and it should have about that amount of Housing Element showing as being paid.
    Whatever you were paid as UC Housing Element is what UC now wants back.*
    That's because it now turns out that you are in Specified Accommodation and so Housing Benefit are/were responsible for paying and not UC.
    So UC want what they have wrongly paid (overpaid) you as Housing Element back, and that will be the £520 or whatever figure it was on your UC statement.
    If UC had know at the time that it was Specified Accommodation then they would never have paid you that Housing Element in the first place - because the council should pay it as Housing Benefit.
    Note that Housing Benefit works differently, that does work weekly and it will only pay from the Monday after you moved in and became liable to pay the rent.
    *You don't have to pay it back all at once though, UC will take it back at so much a month from your ongoing UC payments before you get them.

  • If there is a overpayment & you have no earned income the max deduction is 15% of the standard allowance.
    If you feel you can't afford it, you can ask for reduced payments.
    Let's Be Careful Out There
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